Medical

Woman with Rare Condition Couldn’t Hear Male Voices

Woman with Rare Condition Couldn’t Hear Male Voices

Imagine the opposite scenario to What Women Want.

This is the case for a woman from China, whose rare condition means she genuinely can no longer hear the voices of men.

A woman in China is making waves on the internet this week after a story in the Daily Mail revealed that she's developed a rare type of hearing loss in which she can no longer hear men.

To clarify, the woman can only hear voices belonging to other women.

"She was able to hear me when I spoke to her, but when a young male patient walked in, she couldn't hear him at all", Lin Xiaoqing, the doctor who treated Chen, said, according to the Daily Mail.




At the hospital, it quickly became clear that she was able to hear the female physicians, but not the male ones, which led to a diagnosis of low-frequency hearing loss - technically known as "reverse-slope hearing loss". According to Thigpen Hearing Center, many people with this condition don't even realize they have it. It affects an estimated 3,000 people in the USA and Canada - for every 12,000 people with hearing loss, only one individual has RSHL, the audiology clinic reported.

If you haven't heard of it (and we hadn't either) it's called reverse-sloping hearing loss because of the shape of a hearing test audiogram of those who can't hear low frequencies - it looks the opposite of a ski slope, starting in the lower-left-hand corner and sloping upward steeply.

Dr. Xiaoqing said Ms. Chen is expected make a full recovery with some rest.

Although there are a number of causes of reverse-slope hearing losses, the most common causes are genetic abnormalities, Wolfram syndrome and Mondini dysplasia.

The patient, who has only been named as Chen, said she felt sick and could hear ringing in her ears the night before and thought going to sleep might help. It can also be caused by changes in the pressure of the fluid in the inner ear, endolymph, which itself can be the result of spinal or general anesthesia, intracranial hypertension, and a perilymphatic fistula. Sudden hearing loss, Ménière's disease and viral infection are also identified as causes of RSHL.


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